Canada 'Boom, the thing just went off': Gerald Stanley testifies at his 2nd-degree murder trial

03:00  06 february  2018
03:00  06 february  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

Gerald Stanley trial: As jury selection begins, Saskatchewan farmer pleads not guilty in Colten Boushie death

  Gerald Stanley trial: As jury selection begins, Saskatchewan farmer pleads not guilty in Colten Boushie death As hundreds of potential jurors were being whittled down to 12 plus two alternates, Gerald Stanley pleaded not guilty to the charge of second-degree murder in the death of Colten Boushie. Stanley is accused of fatally shooting Boushie, a 22-year-old resident of Red Pheasant First Nation, on Aug. 9, 2016, after Boushie and four friends drove onto Stanley’s property in the Rural Municipality of Glenside. A full day was set aside Monday for jury selection in the Town of Battleford, with Stanley’s trial scheduled to take place at the Battleford Court of Queen’s Bench from Jan. 30 until Feb. 15.

Gerald Stanley told the jury at his second - degree murder trial today in Saskatchewan that he didn't mean to shoot Colten Boushie. " Boom , the thing just went off ," Stanley testified Monday afternoon.

Gerald Stanley told the jury at his second - degree murder trial in Saskatchewan on Monday he didn't follow typical firearm safety measures before Colten Boushie was fatally shot because he thought his handgun was out of bullets. " Boom , the thing just went off ," Stanley said.

Gerald Stanley told the jury at his second-degree murder trial today in Saskatchewan that he didn't mean to shoot Colten Boushie.

"Boom, the thing just went off," Stanley testified Monday afternoon.

The farmer was charged after Boushie, 22, was shot during an altercation between his family and group of young people from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation reserve who had driven onto his rural property in a grey SUV on Aug. 9, 2016. Members of the group told police they went to the farm looking for help with a flat tire.

Stanley, 56, pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charge in Court of Queen's Bench in the community of Battleford where he is on trial.

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WATCH ABOVE: Gerald Stanley , who is on trial for the shooting of Colten Boushie, said he was filled with terror in the moments before his gun " just went off ." Ryan Kessler with the latest details from court.

Gerald Stanley told the jury at his second - degree murder trial today in Saskatchewan that he didn't mean to shoot Colten Boushie. " Boom , the thing just went off ," Stanley testified Monday afternoon.

Under questioning from his lawyer, Scott Spencer, Stanley on Monday gave his account of the events that happened on the afternoon of Aug. 9, 2016.

He said he was fixing a fence with his son, Sheldon, 28, while his wife mowed the lawn. A vehicle drove into the yard. Its occupants appeared to be attempting to steal a quad ATV.

When they heard Sheldon yelling, the people got back in the car and reversed toward Stanley. Stanley said he kicked the tail light. The vehicle then drove forward, revving fast, toward Sheldon, who hit the windshield with a hammer. The vehicle then rammed into one of the Stanley family's unoccupied SUV vehicles.

Stanley said Sheldon then ran off. By this point, Stanley said he was afraid, thinking of the news reports of cars crashing into crowds and a double murder that occurred 15 kilometres from his farm yard.

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" Boom , the thing just went off ," Stanley testified Monday afternoon during his second - degree murder trial at the Court of Queen's Bench in Battleford, Sask. Boushie, 22, from Red Pheasant Cree Nation, was fatally shot on Stanley 's Biggar, Sask.-area farm in August 2016.

BATTLEFORD — Testifying on his own behalf, Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley told a jury his gun had a delayed discharge on the day Colten Boushie was fatally shot on his property. Stanley , 56, broke his 18-month silence Monday at Battlefords Court of Queen’s Bench during the second week

Belinda Jackson was in the back seat of the SUV when Colten Boushie was shot and also testified last week.© Don Somers/CBC Belinda Jackson was in the back seat of the SUV when Colten Boushie was shot and also testified last week.

"I was still in disbelief about what was going on here," Stanley testified.

He said he walked to his shed, grabbed a handgun and loaded it. When he came out of the shed, he saw two males outside the grey SUV.

Stanley said he heard two loud sounds as he aimed skyward and pulled the trigger two or three times. The two males fled, he said. Stanley said he lowered the gun and checked to ensure it was disabled.

"As far as I was concerned, it was empty — it had fired its last shot," Stanley testified.

Sheldon Stanley, the son of Gerald Stanley, testified as a Crown witness last week.© Chanss Lagaden/CBC Sheldon Stanley, the son of Gerald Stanley, testified as a Crown witness last week.

He said he then realized he couldn't see his wife, and had a feeling of "pure terror" fearing she'd been pinned under the grey SUV.

Stanley said he was going to look under the vehicle, but popped back up after it started revving again.

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Gerald Stanley told the jury at his second - degree murder trial today in Saskatchewan that he didn't mean to shoot Colten Boushie. " Boom , the thing just went off ," Stanley testified Monday afternoon.

Gerald Stanley ’s second - degree murder trial in the death of Colten Boushie is underway and emotions were high on Tuesday. Burge said Sheldon Stanley and his father, Gerald , were building a gate for a fence when a loud vehicle entered the yard.

"I wanted that car off," he said.

Stanley said he reached for the keys with one hand, with the handgun in the other. Then the gun fired.

Stanley says he didn't pull trigger

Stanley said he didn't mean to kill or even hurt anyone.

"I just wanted them to leave," he said, adding he didn't pull the trigger.

Stanley said he learned later that there was a firearm in the grey SUV, but he didn't see it or know about it at the time of the shooting.

As Stanley testified, many in the gallery shifted in their seats. Some left during graphic parts of his testimony, or when Stanley was asked to hold the handgun to demonstrate events of that day.

Defence lays out case

Following the afternoon break, Stanley's lawyer continued his questioning, followed by a cross-examination by senior Crown prosecutor Bill Burge.

The trial is in its second week in Battleford, about 130 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

Spencer informed the jury Monday morning in his opening statement that Stanley was going to testify.

"No games. Gerry's going to testify. He has to," Spencer said.

"Ultimately, this comes down to a freak accident that came about over the course of an unimaginably scary situation."

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According to Spencer, Stanley was intending to fire warning shots. He referred to the phenomenon of "hang fire," in which a firearm will delay firing of a bullet.

"You have to look at it from Gerry's perspective ... the fear of the unknown," Spencer told the jury.

Spencer said members of the Stanley family were working that day on their farm and were not "looking for trouble" when the grey SUV pulled into the farm driveway.

Stanley didn't have the luxury of waiting for police to arrive on his isolated farm, his lawyer said.

"For farm people, your yard is your castle. That's part of the story here," Spencer said.

Spencer said the case is about protecting people from harm.

"Colten Boushie's death is a tragedy ... it is never right to take someone's life over property, but that's not what this case is about," Spencer said.

He said there was a rifle between Boushie's legs pointing at Stanley, but the farmer "wasn't aware of that."

"This wasn't about using lethal force to repel a threat," Spencer told the jury.

The Crown's case

Prosecutor Burge opened the trial last week by calling several witnesses, including RCMP officers and experts, Sheldon Stanley, and three of the individuals who were in the grey SUV with Boushie.

Sheldon Stanley testified he heard three gunshots, but didn't see anything because he had gone into the house to get keys for his truck.

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When he emerged from the house, he testified his father told him: "I don't know what happened. It just went off. I just wanted to scare them."

One of Boushie's friends, Belinda Jackson, said she saw Gerald Stanley shoot Boushie in the head.

Under cross-examination, she was challenged by Stanley's lawyer and admitted to giving vastly different accounts in earlier statements to police.

"I don't believe you're telling the truth," Spencer told Jackson.

An RCMP firearms expert examined and tested the handgun used to kill Boushie. He said there was no indication the gun was faulty in any way, and it would require a distinct trigger pull for each bullet to be fired.

Spencer called one witness Friday in advance of his opening statement Monday. A separate firearms expert who also testified there were no apparent defects with the hand gun.

Following the testimony of Jackson and another Boushie friend, Cassidy Cross-Whitstone, Justice Martel Popescul took the unusual step of instructing the jury mid-trial on the issue of witness credibility and consistency.

Popescul said there may be reasons for contradictory statements, but it can affect credibility. He reminded jurors to use "common sense."

Outside court, Stanley and his family have not spoken to media.

Various Boushie family members have chanted and worn shirts adorned with the slogan "Justice for Colten."

Three weeks have been set aside for the trial, but Popescul said it could end this week if it continues to progress this quickly.

Correction : A previous version of this story mistakenly said defence lawyer Scott Spencer said Gerald Stanley was in a "panic" after seeing a long gun between Colten Boushie's legs. In fact, Spencer said Stanley "wasn't aware" of a rifle between Boushie's legs. (Feb 05, 2018 1:14 PM)

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Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-62468-boom-the-thing-just-went-off-gerald-stanley-testifies-at-his-2nd-degree-murder-trial/

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